Archive for the The Cessation of Suffering Category
The Second Step of Alcoholics Anonymous states, “Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” The principle behind Step Two is hope. The 2nd Step is also closely related to the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism, especially the Third Noble Truth.
Step Two and Hope
In Step One, we admit powerlessness over drugs and alcohol. We concede to our innermost selves that we are addicts, and practice rigorous self-honesty. In Step Two, we essentially do the opposite. We are offered hope for a seemingly hopeless state. The phrase, “Came to believe” tells us that our faith does not always happen instantly. It takes time. We slowly open our minds and hearts to see what the Twelve Steps have to offer us. As we know we are powerless over things and our lives are unmanageable, we are being offered a way to live a life manageable by a power greater than ourselves.
Step Two not only gives us hope in terms of a power greater than ourselves. In the Second Step, we are offered hope in a more general sense. We feel quite hopeless and as if there is nothing that will help us. Step Two is the door that once we begin to open, we are presented with a beautiful path of work toward a joyous and free life.
Step Two and the Third Noble Truth
In the First Step, we have our limits brought to light, and are practicing Right View. We recognize the first two Noble Truths of suffering and the causes of our suffering, which are our addiction and own powerlessness. In Step Two, we are presented with the reality of the Third Noble Truth: that the cessation of this suffering is possible. Just as the Second Step is beginning to open the door to the rest of the steps, the Third Noble Truth leads us into the Fourth Noble Truth of the Noble Eightfold Path.
The Third Noble Truth teaches us that ending suffering is indeed possible. Once we have learned to understand our suffering and see it clearly, we have the potential to eradicate it completely. The Third Noble Truth, like Step Two, is of hope. The possibility to progress and leave behind the suffering is a reality for each and every one of us.
Taking Step Two, we are believing in the a power greater than ourself (which in the Buddhist sense would be the Dharma). The Third Noble Truth assures us that this power truly can eradicate our suffering, just as the Second Step says the power can “restore us to sanity.”
“God can move mountains, but please bring a shovel.”
“If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap.
If you want happiness for a day, go fishing.
If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune.
If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else.”
“Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.”
I have found in my recovery that I must continue to take personal inventory ON PAPER. Simply trying to do it in my head does not work, and I fall behind. Furthermore, when I am doing a written inventory, I must also take the action to make amends where they are due.
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
““When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.”
“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”
The Second Step of Alcoholics Anonymous states that we “came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.” The principle behind this step is hope. The Second Step is essentially the opposite of the First Step. While in Step One, we admit our powerlessness over drugs and alcohol, Step Two is a solution to this problem. We do not immediately take to the Second Step with all our being and conviction.